Add3.com

Diagnosing web site architecture issues

Amplify Interactive’s notes from SMX Advanced Seattle 2008

Second day of SMX Advanced, Developer Track
Vanessa Fox, Search Engine Land:

Vans.com has problems with javascript code. They don’t come up high in search due to this. She uses this as an example of identifying problems with websites to determine your strategy.

Chris Silver Smith, Netconcepts:
blog: naturalsearchblog.com

For the newbies:

  • Do a sitecommand and see how many results your site has.
  • Yahoo shows many more than Google. This is somewhat due to Yahoo! showing duplicate content.
  • Do a “inurl:sessionid” search to see if you might have duplicte content.

Register with Webmaster tools and look for errors

New area in Webmaster tools on title tags, meta, content, etc.

  • New area in Webmaster tools on title tags, meta, content, etc.
  • Check your robots.txt file

Coca-Cola has a homepage redirect (bad redirect).
He uses web-sniffer.net to see what is returned by the server.
Coca-Cola shows a 200 redirect code which is bad. It should be a 301.
Google handles these issues “pretty fluidly” now, but not the other search engines.

Use Lynx Browser to look at links on a page.
Use the Firefox Developer extension and the Link Counter extension.

Another utility: Acxiom’s MarketLeap Benchmarking Link Popularity

SEOMoz’s SEO Toolbox. They have many good utilities all in one in place.

  • example: who else is hosted on my IP
  • your ISP could host several domain names on the same IP address which could hurt your site.

Look at “Google Sets” to ID your top competitors, and then see why they are ranking well.
Special Whitepapers available at chris@netconcepts.com

Jonathan Hochman, Hochmanconsultants.com

Diagnosing and Fixing Websites:

Favorite tools:

  • NoScript (firefox add-on), blocks all client side scripts
  • More sophisticated users might have javascript disabled. There are not many of these users, but could be influential.

Flash issues: make html content as well
Check Google’s cache to see what they actually got out of your page
Live HTTP headers (exposes redirects)
Gillete.com (after redirects which were 302ed) has an OK cache

SWFobject() 2.0 to help with flash sites
For java/ajax, modify DOM to replace HTML content, or use <noscript> tags
For Silverlight, create your own SEO-friendly insertion code.

SWFobject is not cloaking. It is open-souce Google development now.
it is not considered cloaking.
There is an article in Searchengine Land about it
Text must be identical to text in flash, but you can not describe the flash.
Xenu’s Link Sleuth: Contains some anti-Scientionlogy information due to 90s controversy.
It is a handy spider to look at sites

Firefox Web Developer:
You can view code problems

Watch out for search problems with frames, iframes, Flash and Silverlight.
Each object is treated as a separate item, not as part of the host page.
Watch out for AJAx due to iframe issues

David Golightly, Zillow:

Optimizing Zillow’s Search Interface for Engines: A Case Study.

David is not an SEO, and discusses the issues Zillow had including issues using Ajax and Javascipt.

Ben Lloyd

About Ben Lloyd

Ben Lloyd serves as Principal at Add3 and manages the agency’s Portland office.  Ben got his start in SEM way back in 1999 – when there was like, 15 search engines and Google was barely a thing. Prior to Add3, Ben had founded Amplify Interactive in 2003 (which was acquired by Add3 in 2013), and hasn’t looked back since. Ben likes lots of stuff like golf, pinball, food(ie), booze/beer/wine – in that order, etc. Mostly – he likes doing that stuff with his friends. Ben is also co-founder of SEMpdx. Connect with Ben on LinkedIn